Archive for November, 2014

I’m on a field course- get me out of here!

I’m on a field course- get me out of here!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

So, it’s that time of year again; as the cold, damp, dark, weather sets in we look to warmer climes for escape and entertainment. So; Take 26 people, from all walks of life, throw them together in a tropical paradise to camp with bugs, beasts and cold-water showers for 10 days and watch the dynamics and lessons unfold…. Ok so we’re not exactly celebrities, we didn’t skydive into the savanna, or have Ant and Dec provide a narration to our every move, or eat blended kangaroo testicles (though incidentally on the same trip last year I did [&hellip

Still Life Results

Still Life Results

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

We have finally decided on the winner of the Still Life photography competition. The theme was ‘Changing Seasons’ and first place goes to the ‘flooded forest’ which is our featured image today. As the entries were anonymous we don’t know who submitted the image so please make yourself known and gather up the plaudits you so richly deserve. Update: Our winner has come forward (see the comments). Congratulations to Aoibheann Gaughran of the TCD zoology department! Author: EcoEvo

The Allure of Couzins: Self-organising collective groups

The Allure of Couzins: Self-organising collective groups

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Every now and then you stumble on a paper that changes everything for you. Typically something of a personal zeitgeist moment, it opens your eyes to a whole new world of potential and can spin your own research out in new directions, or encourage a complete re-orientation of your goals. In this new series, we are going to profile some of our favourite papers and maybe share the inspiration a little wider. I don’t get out from behind my computer much, but when I do, my favourite engagement with real animals is to watch swirling flocks of [&hellip

Internal Affairs

Internal Affairs

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

So for various reasons, one of which was being unsure of whether a PhD was for me, I found myself asking to work as an Intern with the good people in the Zoology Department at TCD. To give you a bit of background, I am a Zoology graduate with an MSc in Marine Biology, so not just some random bloke who happens to like animals and fancied chancing his arm. Anyway, I approached Dr. Ian Donohue whose research group interested me and thus began a 9 month Internship as a Research Assistant. With a little trepidation and [&hellip

Tropical Field Course Kenya

Tropical Field Course Kenya

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

We’ve just returned from our annual Tropical Ecology Field Course in Kenya with our final year undergraduates. Our trip took us on a journey through the rift valley to the theme of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Here are some of the sights of the trip:       Author: Deirdre McClean Photo credits: Deirdre McClean and Ian Donohue

DOs and DO NOTs of moderation

DOs and DO NOTs of moderation

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Moderation is the art of “avoidance of extremes in one’s actions, beliefs, or habits”, according to dictionaries.  In academic meetings chances are to find a colorful mix of extremes ranging from big mouths to shy introverts, and making everyone’s voice heard can be quite challenging. In worst-case scenarios, even hearing one’s own voice can become problematic. In order to make a group discussion productive, smooth and -why not? – fun, participants designate or invite a moderator to fill in the conductor’s role. He or she will have excellent people skills and professional knowledge, will know how to puck [&hellip

‘By live voice’ – how to plan for and get through your viva

‘By live voice’ – how to plan for and get through your viva

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

“Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence.” Daniel Burnham The viva or thesis defence is a daunting obstacle. It’s built up so much that you feel as if your previous three years of work hinge on how you perform for one morning/afternoon. Despite all the reassurances I was offered I was hugely nervous before it. That said, some of the advice I received meant I wasn’t flying blind and [&hellip

A Spark of Science

A Spark of Science

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

Why are some snakes more venomous than others? When did plate tectonics begin? What geological mysteries await our discovery on Mars? How do organisms build their own bodies? How do businesses manage biodiversity? These are just some of the interesting and diverse Lightning Talks which were presented at a recent event in the School of Natural Sciences. Researchers from the disciplines of Botany, Geology, Geography and Zoology had just two minutes to present their work to colleagues and friends. The strict format created an interesting evening filled with bite-size chunks of science. We were very lucky to [&hellip

Size isn’t everything: organising small conferences

Size isn’t everything: organising small conferences

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Seminars

The late afternoon sky drizzled softly on Manchester. The pubs along Oxford Road gently creaked with the weight of workers sinking pints following a long week of doing whatever it is that people who work in Manchester do.  Sat in a beer garden, I relaxed and pondered the exceptionally busy previous 48 hours, the main feature of which had been the effective and successful running of a small conference. Having waved goodbye to 50 happy delegates, I had the time to reflect on what had made it successful. The small conference in question was a joint meeting [&hellip